Panettone, an italian classic
Panettone, the Italian classic Christmas sweet bread
This sweet bread is enjoyed as a dessert and it is made of a dough similar to sourdough, candied oranges, raisins and lemon zest.
“Natale” without Panettone would be a sad Christmas for any Italian family, but in Milano, the place where this special bread was born, it’s inconceivable. During the weeks before Christmas, hundreds of millions of Panettone are sold all over Italy and throughout Europe, as well as in North America. This famous, brightly colored, oversized, festive and elegant box is an immediate cue that the holidays are coming.
Before industrialization, Panettone was made in local bakeries or at home, and it was a laborious, time-consuming task. Traditionally, the father - or the head of the family - used to mark a cross at the top of the tall loaf of sweetened bread before placing it in the oven, as a good omen for the coming year. Today panettone still has a special aura spreading a feeling of love, luck and joy whenever it is offered.
The classic Panettone weighs about a kilo (that is, 2.2 lbs) and it is about 8 inches high. The special dough slowly ferments and rises for at least 12 hours, but the leavening process can last much longer.
Panettone ingredients are usually flour, eggs, butter, yeast, dried raisins, candied oranges, citron and lemon zest. In the last years the pastry chefs have kept on creating new versions of panettone: pears and chocolate, figs, apricot and white chocolate, red fruits. New flavours as a sweet alternative.
If you are on a diet, you better close your eyes!
Even if the industrial or commercial Panettone - for sale in every supermarket - is undeniably good, it is extremely different from the artisanal one.
Every year, by the end of November, a “Panettone competition” takes place in Italy
During this competition, the best Italian pastry chefs bring their creations to be judged. Although the Panettone is a dessert born in Milano, in the recent last two year this competition has been won by pastry chefs from the south of Italy. Have they discovered all the tricks of the original recipe?
Here’s this year’s top ten panettone makers:
1. Vincenzo Tiri (Tiri 1957) – Acerenza (PZ) 1120 points
2. Maurizio Bonanomi (Pasticceria Merlo) – Pioltello (MI) 1042
3. Alfonso Pepe (Pasticceria Pepe) – Sant’Egidio del Monte (SA) 1025
4. Raffaele Vignola (Pasticceria Vignola) – Solofra (AV) 1020
5. Paolo Sacchetti (Nuovo Mondo) – Prato 1015
6. Luca Biasoli (Pasticceria Clivati) – Milano 997
7. Davide Comaschi (Pasticceria Martesana) – Milano 992
8. Sal De Riso (Pasticceria De Riso) Tramonti -SA 973
9. Bacilieri (Marchirolo, VA)
10. Café du Soir (Agnone, IS)
Would you like to taste the real Italian Panettone? Contact F4Y! We have a wide choice ranging from 100 gr size to 5 kg baked by the best Italian pastry chefs.